Re: Kids on Teamwork LO2966

Tobin Quereau (
Thu, 28 Sep 1995 08:39:21 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO2961 --

Hi, Marilyn. Your question ranks among the "fundamental" ones you protray
so vividly. At the risk of preaching to the choir, I thought of Kuhn's
_Structure of Scientific Revolution_ as I got to your final question. Not
so much for its focus on science, but for Kuhn's outline of a function of
human thinking of which science is but an example--abeit clearer than most
in its structure. I think that we all have our paradigms, lenses, filters,
and such that allow us to function. Many of them come from our family,
some from "society", maybe one or two from schooling, many others from our
"culture" (neighborhood, region, heritage, etc.).

We quickly learn to move beyond the fundamental questions because they are
so hard for people to respond to and they are thus discounted, ridiculed,
and patronized away. What a frightening and delightful experience it is to
be in the presence of one who--as an adult with access to all of her or
his capacities--still dives with wonder into the fundamental mysteries. We
have to call them Artists, Poets, Philosophers, Teachers or Fools to
distinguish ourselves from their kind. (Sometimes the title of Humorist is
sufficient protection for us.) Otherwise we would be shamed by shallowness
and branded by our fears of such places and things as they see and

So our assumptions protect us and give us peace if not a language of
commerce and convenience for those with whom we share our lives. And, at
times, with uncertainty and secret pleasure, we can still spend a few
moments of our choosing with those who inhabit the world beyond. It is
part of the way we learn and grow. Our chance on occasion to live

You see, you've done it again, now I am soaring into the wild and
uncertain places. Thanks for giving me the pull to let go.

On Wed, 27 Sep 1995 wrote:

> Replying to LO2940 --
> What a difference between the way we use questions in the corporate
> setting and the way a child uses questions to learn. In the book,
> _Creativity in Business_, the authors, Michael Ray and Rochelle Myers,
> tell of a four year old asking the following questions in a 60-minute
> period:
> "What is the color inside my brain? What's behind a rainbow? What's inside
> of a rock? A tree? Bones? A spider? Does the sky have an end to it? If it
> doesn't, how come you can see it?" [Great question!] "Why are my toes in
> front of my feet?"
> Soon after I saw that, I was glancing through Stephen Hawking's _A Brief
> History of Time_. On page 1, here is what he writes: "What do we know
> about the universe, and how do we know it? Where did the universe come
> from, and where is it going? Did the universe have a beginning, and if so,
> what happened before then? What is the nature of time? Will it ever come
> to an end?"
> What strikes me is that there is very little difference between these sets
> of questions. Each asks simple, fundamental things. But in the business
> setting, it seems to be hard to ask such fundamental questions. Why is
> this so? Perhaps people's theories and assumptions form a sort of
> territory that fundamental questions challenge. I'd be interested in
> people's thoughts.
> Marilyn Darling